At the beginning of 2016, one of the country’s flagship companies – Fleximat S.A. – took delivery of the first medium-format press of the new KBA Rapida 105 PRO series to be installed in Africa. The six-colour coater press stands on 450 mm raised foundations to accommodate the higher piles which are typical in packaging printing, and is now producing alongside two further Rapidas in the recently built print centre in Mohammedia, approx. 40 km from Casablanca. Abdelaziz Benchekroun, president of Fleximat, is very positive in his assessment: “The market launch of this new press came at the perfect time for us. Our decision in favour of the Rapida 105 PRO was carried by the confidence that, even without exceeding our investment budget, we would be able to incorporate a number of interesting technical solutions which are otherwise only available in the highly automated Rapida 106.”
The emerging North African markets are characterised by high price sensitivity. As economic prosperity increases, fixed costs increase to a similar extent – and print production is here no exception. When planning long-term investments like a printing press, the technical features and automation must secure competitiveness not only today, but also in the foreseeable future. CEO Mehdi Benchekroun: “It was against this background that we chose to integrate fully automatic plate changing, facilities for non-stop pile changing at the feeder and delivery, and the energy-saving VariDryBlue dryer technology, for example.”As one of the leading packaging producers in Morocco, Fleximat places a strong focus on customer service in both gravure and offset printing. To escape price pressures, the management is careful to ensure that any new investments strengthen the technological lead over other companies. Tailored solutions from KBA are here seen as an ideal vehicle.
Christoph Müller, managing director of KBA-Digital & Web Solutions AG & Co. KG – based at the KBA headquarters in Würzburg – and at the same time a member of the group management, has taken on additional responsibility as managing director for KBA-Flexotecnica S.p.A. with effect from 4st January 2017. Claudio Bisogni, who led the company with great dedication before and after the acquisition by Koenig & Bauer in December 2013, left the company at the end of 2016 to continue pursuit of his personal career roadmap.
The management change at KBA-Flexotecnica S.p.A. is expected to intensify cooperation between the locations and will simplify access to technical and human resources at the main production facility in Würzburg. In the coming year, Koenig & Bauer plans to open a demo centre at its Würzburg main location. Exploiting the convenient transport links to Frankfurt Airport, as a key hub for international business travellers, this will provide modern opportunities for presentation of both the technically outstanding flexo web presses from Tavazzano and other product lines. As demand continues to increase, the allocation of additional facilities for assembly of the CI flexo presses designed in Italy is a further option.
Michael Kummert held various management positions at roller bearing manufacturer SKF before joining Koenig & Bauer AG as executive vice-president for production in April 2012. Over the following years, he managed the successful restructuring of production activities at the Würzburg and Radebeul sites, establishing an independent profit centre to provide manufacturing services to the member companies of the KBA Group as well as external clients. In 2015, he was appointed managing director of the newly founded subsidiary KBA-Industrial Solutions AG & Co. KG. As a member of the group management, he was furthermore responsible for KBA-Gießerei GmbH in Würzburg, KBA-Grafitec in the Czech Republic and Albert-Frankenthal GmbH in south-western Germany.
Dr. Martin Kraus (49), now sole managing director of KBA-Industrial Solutions AG & Co. KG, joined the company as head of production on 1st June 2015 and was subsequently appointed co‑managing director on 1st April 2016. He had previously held management responsibility in several companies of the Bosch group over a period of almost 15 years. Since moving to KBA, he has contributed very actively to further efficiency enhancement in the restructured manufacturing centres. As managing director of KBA-Industrial Solutions, with a total workforce of approx. 1,000 employees at the plants in Würzburg and Radebeul, Dr. Kraus will be assisted by commercial director Markus Weber and at the Radebeul location by head of production Dr. Imke Kellner.